“We could never be where we are today without Community Capital. At a critical juncture for us, they had a flexible approach to lending that allowed us to access capital so we could focus on doing a great job for our clients.”
Co-owner, The XP Agency
Support Provided: credit, educational scholarship
Impact: 100% Minority Owned, 50% women owned, 2 jobs created, startup enterprise
The Back Story: Tamara Francois and Adolfo Vasquez are ROCK SOLID PROS who have put their combined 30+ years’ of “experiential marketing” experience to fine use in launching The XP Agency. The two met at their former agency where working together, they created “out of the box” campaigns for global brands such as Coca-Cola, General Motors, Reebok and Verizon. Having cultivated stellar creative and customer relationship track records, the two decided to take their show on the road and form The XP Agency.
Although their first year was designed to be one of planning, within 30 days of forming the company Tamara and Adolfo were faced with a high-class problem: How to fund the large contract they had just received from corporate giant Coca-Cola. “The project was capital intensive – a lot of up front expenses for staff, hotels, materials and more. Adding to that, Coke had an aggressive timetable. We needed money and we needed money fast,” recalls Adolfo. They had a business plan and a contract but from the perspective of a traditional bank, XP was an un-fundable, undercapitalized start up.
The situation led them to their local Small Business Development Center who swiftly connected them with Community Capital. Kim Jacobs, Executive Director of Community Capital notes, “XP is an example of the challenges that so many start-ups face. Despite their deep industry expertise and a contract in hand, XP couldn’t get a loan. Where traditional lenders see risk, we see opportunity.” After reviewing the business plan, signed contract and strong financial projections Community Capital felt confident that XP could be successful and extended a $120,000 line of credit and an educational scholarship for strategic consulting services. This financing allowed XP to execute on its all-important contract with Coke and create a phenomenal experiential event that they have successfully leveraged into new projects with Coke.
The Outlook: From their offices in Rockland County, Adolfo reports “We closed our first year of operations in the black with over $1 million in billings. We continue working with Coke and just signed an exciting contract with Netflix.” In 2017 XP’s goal is to secure 4 core clients and grow revenues to $3 million by cultivating both new and existing relationships. Tamara says “The Line of Credit with Community Capital provides XP the working capital needed to develop and deliver unforgettable programs and events that build brands and influence purchase decisions.”